chef-name: Joachim Splichal

Chef Joachim was born and raised in Spaichingen, Germany, about 50 miles from the Swiss border, to parents who had a little hotel and butcher shop. At 18 he began in the hotel industry, working at leading hotels in Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Israel, Morocco and Canada.
In his early 20s, he moved to France to start his culinary training, working as a saucier at La Bonne Auberge, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Antibes on the southeast Riviera of France.

At 23, Joachim was hired as a sous chef by Jacques Maximin, to work at the Chantecler restaurant in the Hotel Negresco, in Nice. Maximin became Chef Splichal’s mentor, and during this period, he began to win many culinary awards, including the “Youngest & Most Creative Chef” title from the Cercle European Society.

Chef Splichal moved to the United States in 1981 to serve as Executive Chef at the Regency Club in Los Angeles. In the years that followed, he worked at the Seventh Street Bistro and began Max Au Triangle. Then in 1989, he and his wife Christine, an international business expert, opened their fine dining restaurant, Patina. Later he started a chain of Pinot French Bistro style restaurants.

Great Chefs tried to co-ordinate a shoot with Chef Joachim, but both schedules conflicted, and in early 2000 we were told that Patina was going to move into the new Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, and we should wait until then. Unfortunately, that would not work for our delivery schedule to the Discovery Channel of the Great Chefs of America series, so Chef Splichal flew to his new steak house restaurant in New York city, Nick & Stefs, and Great Chefs taped Chef Joachim at his location there. He prepared two entrees, an Ahi Tuna Tower for episode #200; a Potato Chip Sandwich with Scallops & Caviar tartar for episode #209, and one dessert, a Chocolate Croissant Pudding for episode #206 of the Great Chefs of America series.

In 2003, Patina moved into the new spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall, but he didn’t stop there. The Pinot chain kept expanding and the Patina Restaurant Group expanded to over 60 restaurants in California, Las Vegas, New Jersey, Florida, New York City, and Tokyo. Chef Splichal and his wife have transformed the Los Angeles dining scene, and their energy knows no bounds, as benefits this legendary couple.